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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    Hard Drive Space Mystery
    I've had my 20" iMac for a while now and up till now i've had very little problems but something has happened recently which is bugging me. I had a look at my HD space the other day to see how much i had left free, and i saw this:

    I found this very strange as i never remember having that much space being used up so i checked my HD and got info on everything inside and got this:


    If you add all the values togther it comes to 119.36gb.
    total space - used space = space left
    232.57-119.36=113.21gb free, but no. only 15.67gb is free so where is the mystery 97.54gb?

    I'm extremly confused becuase this doesn't appear to be on my hardrive. if anyone could help me out please.

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Nov 04, 2006
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    31
    Specs:
    Mac mini Intel core duo - iBook G4
    Take a look with Disk Inventory X

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts
    1,964
    This is one possibility that may have happened to you. It did to me two weeks ago. Have you used Disk Utility to wipe the unused drive space?

    I used the install DVD's version of Disk Utility to wipe my OS X partition's unused space. Unfortunately, the computer decided to have a case of the vapours, and it fainted dead away in a kernal panic.

    To wipe unused space, Disk Utility creates a temporary file and writes zeros over every uncatalogued particle of drive space. This single, temporary file grows to enormous proportions but is removed at the end of the wipe. Because of the kernal panic, however, the huge file remained.

    When I restarted the computer, a popup warned me that there were only eight megabytes of space remaining on the "drive" in this case, one of four partitions that contains nothing but OS X. I place all my documents on another partition, and I knew I had 30 gigabytes of free space, at least.

    I knew of the gigantic file but didn't know its name, so searching the web for more information, I discovered and downloaded Disk Inventory X so I could find it. But for some reason it did not reveal the file or I screwed up and didn't know what to look for, though it lists file sizes. Maybe it can't inspect the system-core files. I don't recall whether it lists invisible files.

    Further searching on the web revealed the space hog to be a "sparse" file, so using the free search utility EasyFind that I set to look for invisible files, it showed a file with "sparse" in its name, and the pathway to it.

    Using the donation-ware app Invisibles, I set all files to visible so the sparse file would be easy to trash. But the system wouldn't allow me to do so. However, I have a G4 with System 9 on another partition, and as an OS X repair utility, OS 9 can't be beat.

    I booted into 9, clicked on the 29-gigabyte-and-change sparse file and trashed it, rebooted into X, set the invisibles back to visible again, and everything was back to normal. (OS 9 also uses a dot in front of a file name to make it invisible.)

    The easy availability of System 9 is a cheat I haven't bothered to learn how to trash "untrashable" files using Terminal or any utility written for the purpose. But that wouldn't be hard.

    Download EasyFind and Invisibles from versiontracker.com or macupdate.com. If you find a gigantic and invisible "sparse" file, that's your problem.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    I tried
    I tried this program:

    Even the program is confused. It says on details of HD 217 used but when the HD is actually checked it says 119.2. I really havn't a clue where this 90 odd gb s could possibly be.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Study View Post
    This is one possibility that may have happened to you. It did to me two weeks ago. Have you used Disk Utility to wipe the unused drive space?

    I used the install DVD's version of Disk Utility to wipe my OS X partition's unused space. Unfortunately, the computer decided to have a case of the vapours, and it fainted dead away in a kernal panic.

    To wipe unused space, Disk Utility creates a temporary file and writes zeros over every uncatalogued particle of drive space. This single, temporary file grows to enormous proportions but is removed at the end of the wipe. Because of the kernal panic, however, the huge file remained.

    When I restarted the computer, a popup warned me that there were only eight megabytes of space remaining on the "drive" in this case, one of four partitions that contains nothing but OS X. I place all my documents on another partition, and I knew I had 30 gigabytes of free space, at least.

    I knew of the gigantic file but didn't know its name, so searching the web for more information, I discovered and downloaded Disk Inventory X so I could find it. But for some reason it did not reveal the file or I screwed up and didn't know what to look for, though it lists file sizes. Maybe it can't inspect the system-core files. I don't recall whether it lists invisible files.

    Further searching on the web revealed the space hog to be a "sparse" file, so using the free search utility EasyFind that I set to look for invisible files, it showed a file with "sparse" in its name, and the pathway to it.

    Using the donation-ware app Invisibles, I set all files to visible so the sparse file would be easy to trash. But the system wouldn't allow me to do so. However, I have a G4 with System 9 on another partition, and as an OS X repair utility, OS 9 can't be beat.

    I booted into 9, clicked on the 29-gigabyte-and-change sparse file and trashed it, rebooted into X, set the invisibles back to visible again, and everything was back to normal. (OS 9 also uses a dot in front of a file name to make it invisible.)

    The easy availability of System 9 is a cheat I haven't bothered to learn how to trash "untrashable" files using Terminal or any utility written for the purpose. But that wouldn't be hard.

    Download EasyFind and Invisibles from versiontracker.com or macupdate.com. If you find a gigantic and invisible "sparse" file, that's your problem.
    I'll try that now thanks.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    Nope
    I tried the easyfind app and tried looking for "sparse" without the "" and nothing popped up. i searched all volumes with invisible on and case sensitive off. Any more suggestions?

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts
    1,964
    Does Disk Inventory X show anything out of the ordinary?

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    Nope
    Nope everything looks as it should

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    What i'm going to do now is save all my usful files onto another external HD at my friends house and wipe this computer.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    53
    Specs:
    24" IMAC ALU, 2.8GHZ, 4GB ram, 750gb HD, Leopard OSX.
    Talking Brilliant Post
    Originally Posted by Brown Study
    This is one possibility that may have happened to you. It did to me two weeks ago. Have you used Disk Utility to wipe the unused drive space?

    I used the install DVD's version of Disk Utility to wipe my OS X partition's unused space. Unfortunately, the computer decided to have a case of the vapours, and it fainted dead away in a kernal panic.

    To wipe unused space, Disk Utility creates a temporary file and writes zeros over every uncatalogued particle of drive space. This single, temporary file grows to enormous proportions but is removed at the end of the wipe. Because of the kernal panic, however, the huge file remained.

    When I restarted the computer, a popup warned me that there were only eight megabytes of space remaining on the "drive" — in this case, one of four partitions that contains nothing but OS X. I place all my documents on another partition, and I knew I had 30 gigabytes of free space, at least.

    I knew of the gigantic file but didn't know its name, so searching the web for more information, I discovered and downloaded Disk Inventory X so I could find it. But for some reason it did not reveal the file — or I screwed up and didn't know what to look for, though it lists file sizes. Maybe it can't inspect the system-core files. I don't recall whether it lists invisible files.

    Further searching on the web revealed the space hog to be a "sparse" file, so using the free search utility EasyFind that I set to look for invisible files, it showed a file with "sparse" in its name, and the pathway to it.

    Using the donation-ware app Invisibles, I set all files to visible so the sparse file would be easy to trash. But the system wouldn't allow me to do so. However, I have a G4 with System 9 on another partition, and as an OS X repair utility, OS 9 can't be beat.

    I booted into 9, clicked on the 29-gigabyte-and-change sparse file and trashed it, rebooted into X, set the invisibles back to visible again, and everything was back to normal. (OS 9 also uses a dot in front of a file name to make it invisible.)

    The easy availability of System 9 is a cheat — I haven't bothered to learn how to trash "untrashable" files using Terminal or any utility written for the purpose. But that wouldn't be hard.

    Download EasyFind and Invisibles from versiontracker.com or macupdate.com. If you find a gigantic and invisible "sparse" file, that's your problem.


    That is one of the clearest and brilliant posts I have read on Mac Forums.

    You logically and intelligently worked out how to fix a really odd problem and succinctly wrote the instructions how to fix it. Brilliant.

    RESPECT.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts
    7
    Just Happy
    I'm just happy i have the problem fixed now, got two partitions, one for OS X and one for Windows XP and both work fine now.

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